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Digital Storefront: Keeping it Local on Social

You’ve probably heard the term “shop local.” It encourages consumers to support local businesses in their area rather than larger national chains. This is an idea that AWG independent grocers embrace and it extends to their social media platforms.

I regularly tell the retailers I work with to look at their social media platforms as a “digital storefront.” While it’s a good idea for a grocery store to include product/pricing on their digital platforms, social media is also the perfect place to tell your story. It’s a great place to show support for your community and even show off that support every now and then. Just don’t “show off” too blatantly or too often. It will start to come off as insincere and end up having the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve with this type of content.

In a Progressive Grocer article, Randy Hofbauer cited a recent study that found “nearly nine in 10 supermarket shoppers regularly following one or more social media sites” but of that group “only one in four…claims to be friends with or connected to his or her primary grocery store.” In an effort to get more out of the social media platforms that more and more retailers are pursuing, Hofbauer shares ideas from Tom O’Reilly, Aptaris CEO, which include focusing on the local community as a first step in your social media planning. O’Reilly observed that local grocery stores are known for supporting everything from sports leagues to local school fundraisers. They are often at the center of the community and their social media should reflect the same.

AWG retailers are no different and some of them are doing a great job of reflecting their place in the community on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It’s definitely more helpful to sound less like you’re bragging if you have multiple store locations and you can congratulate just one store or manager from a page that represents multiple locations.

Vowell's Market Place - Top Supporter of Byram Middle School
It’s also helpful if part of your community posts involve a fundraiser that’s open to the entire community. Then you can thank them for their support of the local organization.

Gary's Foods - MDA of IOWA Donation
And sometimes just hosting an event at your store will not only help your community, but engage your Facebook fans as well!

 Vowell's Market Place - prescription disposal
Vowell's Market Place - Volunteer Starkville
You can also share community posts from other businesses, organizations or even local people.

Gary's Foods - Shop Local Shared Post   Greer's Markets - $50 Gift Card to Veteran
Hofbauer cited one idea that was shared by an individual who took a survey co-sponsored by Aptaris. The participant suggested that local grocers send personal friend requests to shoppers in their areas through neighborhood pages and medicines through the website. Hofbauer made the point that people like to know the owners of local businesses and they might be more willing to follow a grocery store on social media after they get a personal friend request from the owner.

While larger grocery store chains might have the benefit of larger budgets and more resources, an independent grocer has something that can never be bought: an invaluable place in the local community.


Why do I work at AWG? “I like working for a company that supports local, often times family-owned, businesses in everything they do in order to help them succeed and stay competitive. It’s great to interact with the stores on a daily basis and learn about their story and the communities they serve.” -Melanie